Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Well I solved the homeless problem

Not the world's homeless problem, but my own. Check out my previous post if you have no idea what I'm talking about:

I tried so hard to make it in the city on my own. When that failed, my boyfriend and his five roommates graciously let me move in with them for two months.

Tomorrow I will move back in with my parents in another state and I am heartbroken. I will find a temporary job, make some money, and move back to Chicago as soon as I can. I will miss the city and my friends in it.

Update: I am so thankful that I do have my parents to fall back on. I am just going to miss my friends. But I will make some $$ and move back soon. You all have been so encouraging. I really appreciate your comments. 
Oh, my parents live in Wisconsin, so I'm not exactly getting a break from the harsh winter!

Monday, November 29, 2010

This is the best song ever

I think we all have this experience and it sucks. Sometimes I just want someone to experience what I experience when I listen to a certain song, but the song just doesn't have the same meaning for the other person. Some of the most intimate moments I have ever shared with another person have been when the two of us listen to the same song and for some reason the experience is almost spiritual. Maybe you've had this experience and can explain it more eloquently. 

One song that comes to mind when I think about times in my life when I have connected deeply with another person over a song was "Oh Comely" by Neutral Milk Hotel. Are there any songs that you have connected with another person over? Or songs you wish others understood and loved the way you do?

Sorry that this is kind of a lazy post. I've been stuck the past few days as to what I should write about. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

For your viewing pleasure

I stumbledupon this artist this afternoon and I love her illustrations. The artist's name is Daniela Uhlig. I posted some of my favorites.

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm Rick James, Bitch

So, I just saw this video for the first time today.... Am I the only one to have missed out on this?

Monday, November 22, 2010

I will be homeless in 8 days

As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently graduated with my MA in Psychology. When I graduated, my Graduate Plus loans ran out and I had to move out of my apartment. Luckily, I have some great friends who have let me live with them for free for the past 2 months in exchange for keeping the house clean. My time here is quickly coming to an end, however, and by the 1st of December, I will be homeless.

These past two months, I have been trying to find jobs. I have applied for therapist jobs and serving jobs to literally everything in between. I have also been doing Craig's List cleaning gigs to make a little money for food.

I had a second interview at a great job about 2 weeks ago that went really well. I have been anxiously waiting to hear back from this job and will hear back by Thanksgiving. If I get this job, I need to find a place to live here in the city. If not, I am going to be crushed and I don't know where I will end up.

So, I put an ad on Craig's List looking for a couch to sleep on and a shower to use for $100 per month and in exchange I will clean and do chores for them. I have never done something like this before, have any of you been in a similar situation and survived??

Let me know if you have any tips for finding cheap temporary housing and ways you have survived during difficult time.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Some thoughts on anger, avoidance, and conflict

I think I need to take some courses in anger management. Not because I get angry all the time, in fact it is quite the opposite. I have such a difficult time with confrontation and expressing my feelings that sometimes I feel like a stewing cauldron of emotion on the brink of boiling over. I will never snap on someone when the cauldron boils over, I will just let the water boil over, only burning me until I cool off. I realize how unhealthy this is, as it affects all of my relationships at one point or another.

Another thing I have learned about myself in the past year is the degree to which I am an avoider in stressful situations. Rather than confronting a problem head-on, I worry and stew about the problem until it either passes or I am in too deep to give a damn anymore. This usually leads to depression, making it that much harder to confront whatever issue is at hand. I am realizing how closely this avoidance issue goes hand-in-hand with the anger thing. Cognitively I know that most situations can be solved efficiently and cleanly by talking directly to the person involved in the conflict. In fact, in most situations, the other person involved will probably be relieved and the situation will end with both parties more understanding and appreciative of each other. The problem occurs when the conflict is ignored, allowing room for anger to settle in. 

So. How to avoid conflict:

1). When you have a problem, try to confront the issue early on when both parties are level-headed.

2). Don't assume the person you have a conflict with is on the same page as you and knows the issue is a problem. 

3). Use 'I feel' statements. Nothing is worse than being confronted by someone who is attacking you. Rather than saying "I hate when you do ...." say something more like "I feel this way when you...."

4). Don't be afraid of feeling angry. I had a mentor tell me once that if emotions are on a scale from 1 to 10 with depression=1 and joy= 10, anger is in the middle and makes a person feel more alive than depression or listlessness. The important thing to remember (especially in my case) is to confront the anger before it turns into depression.

5). Just ask. If you want the other person in a relationship to do something, and the request is reasonable, ask. This will prevent so many problems from rising in the first place.

I am not good at following my own advice, which is why I am writing a post to remind myself how to avoid avoidance and to experience healthy levels of anger. If any of you have thoughts or suggestions for dealing with anger or avoidance in conflicts or relationships, let me know and I will add them to my list. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Stupid ways to die

Tonight I discovered StumbleUpon. As I am feeling rather bored, I thought I'd check out the Bizarre/ Oddities category. The first few sites that popped up required more reading than I feel like reading right now, so the site I settled on is a List of unusual deaths on 
Listed below are some of my favorites: 

1987: Franco Brun, a 22-year-old prisoner at Toronto East Detention Centre, in Toronto, Ontario, died after attempting to swallow and choking on a 6.35 cm. (2.5 inches) by 10 cm. (4 inches) by 1.27 centimetres (half an inch) Gideon's Bible. Brun reportedly had mental deficiencies and as such, the coroner did not label his death as suicide, believing that "the swallowing of the Bible to him was some form of symbolism or allegory as though he was trying to purge himself of the devil by consuming religion". He was only serving a 15-day sentence.[121]

Okay, so this man had probably had some mental illnesses. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was not in a sane mindset when he ate his religion. But he must have been really out of his mind to end it all during a 15-day sentence. 

2008: Abigail Taylor, a 6-year-old American girl, died nine months after several of her internal organs were partially sucked out of her lower body while she sat on an excessively powerful swimming pool drain. After several months, surgeons replaced her intestines and pancreas with donor organs. She later succumbed to a rare transplant-related cancer.[164]

I am trying to figure out how something like this could happen. Was this child sitting on the bottom of a swimming pool when her insides got sucked out, and in that case, wouldn't it have been more likely that she drown in the pool? And what are the chances that she survive a potential drowning, her internal organs actually being sucked out of her body, and a transplant, only to die of a rare form of cancer 9 months later?

2009: Sergey Tuganov, a 28-year-old Russian, bet two women that he could continuously have sex with them both for twelve hours. Several minutes after winning the $4,300 bet, he suffered a heart attack and died, apparently because of having ingested an entire bottle of Viagra just after accepting the bet.[172]

I think the real losers in this situation are the two women who each paid $180 per hour to have sex with this man.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I am not a mind-reader

I have a masters degree in psychology. For some reasons, my friends and family believe that me having this degree gives me superhuman powers to read people's minds and "psych" them out.

I hate when I meet someone new and we talk about our professions and the first thing they say when they hear that I have a MA in psychology is "Are you reading my mind right now?". While I was in school, my response to this was usually something like "No, our professors haven't taught us how to do that yet". And it was usually met with a polite laugh.

My friends often ask me the same question. They expect that since I have this degree that I am constantly "psyching them out", to use one of my friend's terms for it. My response to my friends and family who ask me this question is usually "I don't analyze my friends and family". Which is the truth. It would not only be unethical to be a therapist to people close to me, but it would also be quite frankly, exhausting!

The truth is, being educated in psychology only gives additional tools to the people who are in the field, people who usually go into the field because they are especially good at reading people in the first place. But I have friends who have no training whatsoever in psychology who are far more skilled at reading people than I am. Therefore, I think the only thing it comes down to is that therapists have a large amount of compassion, patients, and a fundamental drive to help people. And in my case, too weak of a stomach to be a nurse.

I can't speak for all therapists, but as for myself, I am not going to read your mind, analyze your every move, or try to "psych" you out. But hopefully people will find in me compassion and a friend willing to listen. 

Foxy Shazam - A Dangerous Man

I had the chance to see these guys play at Lollapalooza in Chicago earlier this year. While looking at the line-up for the festival, we looked up the bands we were not familiar with. Foxy Shazam was the first of these bands we looked up and the first band we saw at Lolla, and it blew my mind. Here is my favorite music video by them. Enjoy.